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  • Writer's pictureMellissa Briley

Beautiful Scott ~ 30 Years A Quadriplegic

Updated: Jul 9, 2023

"I wonder how many babies were born on my birthday". Scott's question melts my heart. Scott and I are under a large blanket, he on his side surrounded in pillows – it is vital to take pressure off his back to prevent skin breakdown. I have my legs elevated on a large white wedge. I hope my spastic body didn’t interrupt him last night.


I do a mental assessment of my sensations. My feet are cold, my chest feels clammy. Sunlight is seeping through our frayed blinds (Curtesy of Tigger and Ziggy, mementos from when they were kittens, who are currently waking up and about to begin their morning ritual of battle of the zoomies)

"I want to walk into a hospital and say happy birthday to all the babies!"


God, I love this man.


"I had a nice dream about the beach last night. The sun was shining and there were nice waves."


Scott loved to surf before his accident.


"Too bad I didn't know you when I was running the paper route. I'd buy you a nice sandwich and pour you a cup of coffee and we’d go back to my house and play kung fu."


Every second of every moment of every day, I fall in love with him over and over.


Scott and I have known each other…..well known of each other...since we were kids, growing up in the same sleepy town.


Scott and I never quite clicked.


I was shy, frighteningly depressed- escaping into Sweet Vally High novels and gazing through my telescope, searching for the rings of Saturn.


Scott on the other hand, was sporty, daring, outspoken, and all-around coolest guy in town. But little did I know, he was gazing through telescopes looking for the rings of Saturn too.


In High School, Scott was readying to join the Marines, his dream to become a fighter pilot...



It was a hot day when Scott dove into the ocean, he hit something that sounded like the loudest bang he had ever heard in his 18 years of life. His neck broke, his nose grazed the ocean floor. Light would fade into the darkest of dark. By the grace of miracles, he would be pulled out of the sea, CPR performed, light returned. As a medevac picked him up from the beach, and as they flew into Cooper Scott joked: I guess this in my last ride.


From that day, the world spun in chaotic motion.


30 Years A Quadriplegic (In Scott's Words)


Just wanted to share a few thoughts with my Facebook friends as this is usually a difficult time of year for me, as many of you may recall. On May 29, 1993 , I was in a diving accident which left me paralyzed from the chest down. However, this year is a little extra emotional as it will mark my 30th anniversary of being a quadriplegic. This journey hasn't been easy but I've never given up. As I look back, I hope I've become a success in life and lived to the fullest of my abilities. So, with this in mind, I'd like to take a moment to simply say thank you to each and every one of you. Weather we've known each other since childhood, during my years of being in the hospital, physical therapy, teaching in Marlboro and Colts Neck HS or something and or someplace else, you all have been a big part of my recovery. Thank you to each and every one of you!


I'd especially like to take a moment to thank my family for whom I owe so much. To Peter Hampel and Joe D Martinez for saving my life on that fateful day. For without you both, I wouldn't be here today. To Mellissa Briley , my rock, my love, my everyday everything! You are the bow that ties everything together! You complete me and validate why I've worked so hard to live my life to the best of my abilities. I may never physically walk again but together, we stand taller and walk further than I could have ever dreamed possible. Together, all things have become possible.


Finally, as it is Memorial Day weekend, please don't forget to take a moment and thank our service men and women who sacrifice so very much for our nation and for all of us. Freedom isn't free but taking a moment to say thank you for your service is.

I sincerely hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and please be safe. God bless!




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